European Commission Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO)

The European Commission aims to save and preserve life, prevent and alleviate human suffering and safeguard the integrity and dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises. EU assistance, amounting to one of the world's largest, is enshrined in the Treaty of Lisbon and supported by EU citizens an as expression of European solidarity with any person or people in need.

With its headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the Commission's European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department ensures rapid and effective delivery of EU relief assistance through its two main instruments: civil protection and humanitarian aid. By bringing the two together under one roof in 2010, the Commission has built up a more robust and effective European mechanism for disaster response both inside and outside the EU.

Since November 2014, the department operates under the mandate of Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

Based on international humanitarian principles and as set out in the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid, the EU provides needs-based humanitarian assistance to the people hit by man-made and natural disasters with particular attention to the most vulnerable victims. Aid is channelled impartially to the affected populations, regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation.

The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) provides relief in all major crisis zones around the world including Syria, South Sudan, Yemen and Ukraine. It also contributes to tackling the refugee crisis in Europe, also by mobilising EU civil protection channels.

The humanitarian assistance funded by the EU is delivered in partnership with UN agencies, international organisations and NGOs. EU humanitarian aid covers intervention areas such as: food and nutrition, shelter, health care, water and sanitation and education in emergencies. A large network of Commission's humanitarian experts in over 40 countries worldwide enables close monitoring of crisis situations and relief operations.

The funding for humanitarian aid operations is intended for countries outside of the EU. The European Commission can also fund emergency support operations to respond to disasters of exceptional scale within the European Union.

Current projects

Coordinated Action for Multi-Sector Programming in Camp and Out-of-Camp Settings

Contributing to improving the living conditions of vulnerable populations in Niger

Emergency needs response in South Sudan through better informed rapid emergency response deployments

Addressing relief and protection needs of vulnerable populations affected by the Venezuelan crisis and impacted/at risk of COVID-19 pandemic in a gender-responsive and disability inclusive way in urban and peri-urban areas in Venezuela and in transit and border areas of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru

Reducing Disaster Risk Vulnerability in Eastern Ukraine

Project to improve the capacity of local actors to respond to sudden crises, mitigate their impact on water supply and sanitation infrastructures and improve hygiene practices in the community, in the department of Grand’Anse (Irois)

Contributing to improving the living conditions of vulnerable populations in Niger

The Kenya Cash Consortium response to the desert locust crisis in ASAL Counties of Kenya

The Kenya Cash Consortium response to the flooding crisis in Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) Counties of Kenya

Improving National Capacity to Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic in Pakistan (Cap-COVID)

Cash Consortium of Yemen

Supporting resilience for host communities, returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq

Emergency support for populations affected by food and nutritional crises in the Sahelian strip in Chad

ACCESS IV – Provision of multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected populations in Eastern Ukraine

Strategic Assistance for Emergency Response (SAFER)

Improving living conditions within IDP hosting sites in Yemen

The Emergency Response Mechanism in Afghanistan (ERM 10)

Coordinated Action for Multi-Sector Programming in Camp and Out-of-Camp Settings

Support for FIPA, Primary Health Care, ComHA Empowerment and Emergency Response Mechanism (ERM)

Coordinated Action for Multi-Sector Programming in Camp and Out-of-Camp Settings

Coordinated Action for Multi-Sector Programming in Camp and Out-of-Camp Settings

Restoring access to safe and quality education and supporting evidence-based and coordinated humanitarian assistance in Libya

Soutien aux Soins de santé Primaire, à la PCIMA et au mécanisme de réponse d’urgence (RRM)

Coordinated implementation of multipurpose cash assistance to support Somali households affected by crisis

Emergency needs response in South Sudan through better informed rapid emergency response deployments

Reducing Disaster Risk Vulnerability in Eastern Ukraine

Emergency Response Mechanism (ERM) in Afghanistan

WASH, BNA and shelters and coordination in Diffa

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